PEORIA, AZ — Peoria police say a bus aide for the Peoria Unified School District was arrested Wednesday on abuse charges.
According to Peoria Police Department officials, 66-year-old Marco Chinchilla of Sun City, Arizona, was arrested Wednesday morning following a police investigation.
Chinchilla was on administrative leave after an incident where he didn’t put a seat belt on a passenger. At that time, investigators became aware of a separate incident.
Police say Chinchilla allegedly “inappropriately touched” a passenger on the bus, and police were immediately notified of what happened.
Video showed an incident on Jan. 13 during which Chinchilla was seen trying to unsuccessfully cover surveillance cameras inside the bus, police documents say.
He was then seen sitting in front of an 18-year-old student, who functions at the level of an 8- to 10-year-old, for about 20 minutes. The video showed him interacting with the girl and repeatedly moving his hands.
Chinchilla said he didn’t remember why he covered the cameras and told police the girl was acting inappropriately.
However, in an interview with the victim, officials were told that the “weird guy” had “touched her ‘private parts’” and told her he “loved her.”
Chinchilla denied ever touching the victim inappropriately, records show.
Police say Chinchilla was a bus driver for 20 years and had been working on the current bus, which transports special education students, for two months.
Chinchilla was booked into jail for one count of sexual abuse and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.
The investigation is ongoing.
If anyone has any additional information regarding this incident, they are encouraged to contact the Peoria Police Department at 623-773-8311.